Ed Reed cut Loose after ripping the Texans

ed-reed-cut-houstonIn his 12-year NFL career, Ed Reed has proven to be one of the greatest safeties of all-time. And after winning a Super Bowl with the Ravens last year, he was expected to bring this greatness to the Houston Texans. However, the 35-year-old was more of a bust than anything, and now he’s been cut loose by the Texans after some controversial comments.

Following Houston’s 27-24 loss to the Arizona Cardinals, Reed said that his team was “outcoached and outplayed” during Sunday’s game. When asked if he still believed this on Monday, the nine-time Pro Bowler confirmed his assertion that Houston was outcoached. Reed also added that the offense “can’t keep going three and out, and put your defense back on the field.”

A large reason for Reed’s comments may have come from the fact that he was left out of the starting lineup for the Cardinals game. And he played just 12 snaps throughout the entire four quarters.

Of course, this should come as no surprise to those who’ve been watching the Texans all season since Reed has continually gone downhill. He began 2013 with some minor injuries, and when he did play, it wasn’t exactly inspiring. So when you combine Reed’s lack of playing time with his negative comments about the coaching staff, it was a fairly easy decision for Houston to let him go.

ed-reed-cut-houston-1This is yet another blow to the Texans dismal season, which began with Super Bowl aspirations. In fact, Reed was brought in as a missing piece to a team that had most of the components needed for a strong defense. He signed a three-year, $15 million deal in what was one of the biggest offseason acquisitions.

But for the few million that he received before getting cut, all Reed provided was 16 tackles in seven games. Gone was the ball-hawking safety who’d piled up 61 interceptions and seven touchdowns through his first 11 seasons in Baltimore.

So what’s the next stop for this aging safety who quickly wore out his welcome in Texas? Well a return to the Ravens isn’t out of the question since Reed carved out a very successful career here. A contender like New England wouldn’t be a surprise either since Stephen Gregory is out, and Bill Belichick might be looking for a veteran replacement. The New York Jets could be another possibility because Reed’s former defensive coordinator, Rex Ryan, is always looking to add good defensive players to the Jets.

As for the Texans, they are looking towards next season with a 2-7 record. Case Keenum has officially taken the starting QB job from Matt Schaub. And Arian Foster has been put on the injured reserve list since there’s little reason to keep trying to play him. All in all, this has been a nightmare for a team that went 12-4 in the 2012 regular season and 1-1 in the playoffs, losing to New England 41-28 in the Divisional round.

New York Jets QB Disaster: Sanchez injured, Smith has 3 INT’s

mark-sanchezGoing into the 2013-14 NFL season, nobody expected the New York Jets to have a dominate passing game. The incumbent starter, Mark Sanchez, has failed to make this HIS team, thanks to mediocre numbers over a four-year career. The other candidate, Geno Smith, is a rookie who’s raw and doesn’t seem quite ready to start an entire NFL season.

And if anybody had forgotten about how dismal the Jets’ quarterback situation was, they were issued a full reminder in the New York Giants game last night. Smith didn’t look like he was ready to start for an Arena League team as he tossed three interceptions, and stepped on the back of the end zone for a safety.

Later in the evening, Rex Ryan decided to insert Mark Sanchez in during the fourth quarter. Letting him play in meaningless garbage time was a baffling decision, especially since Sanchez still had an opportunity to win the starting quarterback battle. Plus he had backup lineman blocking for him who were just trying to land a roster spot.

geno-smith-jetsRyan’s poor decision was thrust onto center stage when Giants backup defensive tackle Marvin Austin nailed Sanchez’s right shoulder and sent him out of the game. There’s no word on the severity of the injury because the fifth-year veteran just had X-rays, and he’ll undergo magnetic resonate imaging today.

Following Saturday night’s debacle, Ryan seemed extremely annoyed at all of the questions sent his way regarding the QB situation. “We will make the announcement of the starting quarterback when we think it’s the appropriate time,” he said. “Not when you, not when this person, or this person, or this person (thinks it’s time). I can say anything I want – beauty of this country.”

The Jets headman received further questioning regarding his decision to play Sanchez in the fourth quarter. “That was my decision – that was coach’s decision all the way,” he said. “If it wasn’t important, then I wouldn’t have put him in there. I would have not put Mark in there if it wasn’t important. Well, after the injury you always have reservations. I understand being second-guessed and stuff when an injury happens – certainly I understand that – but that’s football.”

If Sanchez’s shoulder injury turns out to be anything really serious, fans will be questioning Ryan every step of the way. This is even truer if Smith opens the season as the starter and fails to produce solid results.

When New York picked Smith with the 39th overall selection in the draft, they were selecting a guy whom they thought could quickly overtake Sanchez and become a franchise player. It’s still quite early to tell if the Jets’ hopes will come to fruition. After all, there’s another preseason game left to play, and based on Sanchez’s injury, Smith could get a second start to prove his worth.

His first preseason start didn’t exactly yield desirable results since he completed 16-of-30 passes for 199 yards, one TD, three INT”s, a safety, and just a 45.7 passer rating. Hopefully Smith can come out next week and provide some assurance that he’s ready to start in the NFL if he gets the nod over Sanchez.

Is This Finally It for Mark Sanchez in New York?

mark-sanchezWhen the New York Jets selected Mark Sanchez with the fifth overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, they thought he’d be their quarterback of the future. And after leading the Jets to AFC Championship Game appearances in his first two seasons, it seemed as though Sanchez might live up to the hype.

But here we are in the present, and New York has now missed the playoffs for two straight seasons. Last year was particularly bad after the Jets limped to a 6-10 record and lost 7 out of their last 11 games. Sanchez certainly wasn’t a bright spot in this season either as he had his worst year since being a rooke; the USC product threw for 2,883 yards, 13 TD’s, 18 INT’s and fumbled 14 times.

Perhaps most telling of Sanchez’s performance was when he got benched in favor of seventh round draft pick Greg McElroy late in the year. But 2013 will bring a fresh season and a new opportunity for Sanchez to prove he’s worthy of that fifth round selection from four years ago. So are the prospects good for the five-year veteran returning to his 2010 and 2011 form? Let’s take a look at what’s going on with him lately.

Poor Practice

mark-sanchez-1If Mark Sanchez was on a road to redemption, he took a U-turn right out of the gate. During the Jets’ recent organized team activity, Sanchez tossed three interceptions in just 15 snaps. His overall day wasn’t bad since he completed 6 of 11 passes; however, the three interceptions is impossible for head coach Rex Ryan to overlook.

“It’s a good thing defense makes the plays, but no, I’d rather him not turn the ball over once,” Ryan told USA Today. “It’s funny, because you look at the practice and he did a lot of great things and then those negative things. At the end of the day, that’s what gets you beat. And so we’ve got to do a better job of eliminating those turnovers.”

Ryan continued by saying, “That’s going to be the pressure that we’re putting on him. It’s not that you try to cover up the fact you had some bad plays – no, no, no you flat tell him. We can’t have these and all that type of stuff. He knows.”

Losing the Team

geno-smithDuring Sanchez’s previous struggles, he could always count on the support of his teammates. This was evident when media members and fans suggested that he be benched in favor of Tim Tebow last year – a point which had many Jets players rushing to defend Sanchez.

However, coming out of the recent three-interception OTA performance, the mood seems to have changed. CBS Sports writer Mike Freeman actually talked to an anonymous Jets player who claimed “80-90 percent of the team” thought Sanchez should be benched.

“Everyone on the team likes Mark personally but there’s a general feeling among some of the players that maybe it’s time to give someone else a chance,” said the anonymous player.

Understudy or Successor?

Once a lock to be the first quarterback off the board in the 2013 NFL Draft, Geno Smith was the second QB taken and fell to the Jets at pick number 39. And while being an early second round pick is pretty good, it doesn’t guarantee you anything in your rookie season.

However, with the way Sanchez has performed, Smith will at least get a crack at the starting QB role. The Jets organization was impressed with his rookie minicamp performance and truly believes in his talent. That said, a strong preseason could thrust the West Virginia alumni into the first string.

On the other hand, New York is believed to be in a rebuilding year and putting Smith out there right away could be counterproductive to the future. Most believe that the Jets have no real chance of making the playoffs, so they’ll merely try to restock talent and ween rookies into the mix.

So taking all of this into account, Mark Sanchez may get one more year to be the starter in New York. However, Smith and/or McElroy will taking some snaps if things get too ugly.